Geological Structure


Strike and Dip Creep Outline

Geological structure is the study of the permanent deformation and rock failure created by the changes in stress through geologic time. It is by far the most important aspect of geology for the engineer to understand. Tectonic processes are responsible for the many discontinuity planes (fractures, faults, joints) that permeate rock masses controlling their strength, stress-strain characteristics and the transmission and storage of fluids.

Structures may be conveniently subdivided into two groups:

The most striking features of rocks as engineering materials is that they are not simple, isotropic, elastic and continuous but very complex, strongly anisotropic, anelastic discontinuous. It is virtually impossible to deduce the stress history of rocks from their observed deformation. There are always many ambiguous deformation paths that could have been followed to produce what is observed.

The study of structure involves the careful recording of the orientation of lines and planes in rock masses in order to deduce the three-dimensional geometry of the distorted crust.


Strike and Dip Creep Outline
(c) Department of Civil and Geological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 57 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, S7N 5A9